Friday, July 18, 2008

You'd think we'd learn . . .

One of the things that we did last weekend was test drive a couple of cars, even though we aren't ready to buy anything yet. One of the cars I was anxious to try was the Prius. Unfortunately, the only dealership in town that carries Toyotas is Chuck Patterson Aut World. Yeah. Well, if you remember from a couple of years ago when we bought our Avalon, they were total. jerks. Read it in this post. (That's a link, btw.)

Well, since we didn't feel like driving all the way to Yuba City just to test drive, we figured we'd test drive something at Chuck Patterson. If we decided to buy a Toyota, we would just go back to Yuba City Toyota, who were great.

Well, we get to the dealership and of course as soon as you pull up, a salesman comes out of the showroom. It was hot and smokey that day, so not many people were car shopping. He was obviously one of the senior salesmen; he was probably close to 60 or so. He explained that there is a waiting list for Priuses, and basically they go down the list when one hits the dealership, so they don't even get onto lot. Well, there's no way I was going to buy one without driving it, so we didn't get on the list. There's an auto broker in town; if we were going to have to get on a list, might as well get on a list that includes all the dealerships in California!

So anyway, we decided to go ahead and test drive a Camry and a Corolla. Both were nice and had their pros and cons. By the time we finished test driving the second car, the salesman could tell from what we were saying that 1) we weren't going to be buying anything that day; and 2) We didn't have a lot of money to spend. So when we got back to the dealership with the second car, the salesman jumped out of the car, went inside the showroom, pulled out a young salesman, very rudely said to us, "Tell him your story." And he went back inside the showroom without a backward glance! He didn't give us a card, he didn't say thank you and come see me when you're ready to buy; nothing!! What. a. jerk!!! I can't believe that in these lean times, he'd be so willing to give up a potential sale. Bah! This poor kid; he goes "What story?" I go, "I have no idea; that guy just dumped us on you." This kid was probably 22 or so -- nice young man; obviously he hasn't been jaded or corrupted by the douchebags that work there. I can't believe that first guy was so rude!!!!! I swear, I don't know how they sell a damn thing with their attitude. Humph. Plus they just expanded and remodeled. It really puzzles me, because everyone I talk to says "Oh I hate those guys."

Our next door neighbor, Larry, works for Wittmeier, a local dealership that sells Ford, Honda, Chevy, Merucry. Turns out, he used to work for Patterson, but couldn't stand their tactics. Gee. Imagine that! Sadly, he says that now that the son has taken over Wittmeier, they've started to get the same way. I was really sorry to hear that; because Wittmeier has been really good to us in the past. I don't always want to have to drive out of town to buy a car.

Tell me; why does car buying have to be such a terrible experience?!? What is it about car salesmen that make them such arrogent jerks?!? (Larry our neighbor being an exception). When we went to Wittmeier that day, we test drove a Honda Accord, which was nice.

Another thing we're considering is a small SUV. There are some with good gas mileage -- comparable to a car. That way if we trade our car and truck, we can still sort of have a truck. I want to test drive the Honda CR-V, the Toyota Rav 4, and the Subaru Forester. All have gotten excellent ratings in Consumer Reports. The thing I want to check out, is how it rides. If it rides like a truck, I don't know if I'd want it. I mean, we already have a truck; why would we trade our truck for another truck?!?

So many decisions, but we have time. We may not do anything; who knows. We'll have to see how it all plays out.

But you'd think we'd learn -- and not go back to Chuck Patterson for ANY reason!!